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Following the money for Michigan Reps on Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.

Keeping an eye on the money in politics, Michigan’s U.S. Representatives have filed their first quarter contributions to the Federal Election Commission this week.

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Michigan’s 14 Reps have raised a total of $2,170,989 dollars.

First, just looking over some of these numbers, with two particular Representatives in mind. Representative Gary Peters, Democrat from Southeast Michigan and Representative Mike Rogers,  Republican from mid-Michigan.

They seem to be front-runners for the U.S. Senate seat that will be open in 2014 because of  Carl Levin’s retirement.

Peters has raised $370,000 and has $800,000 on hand.
Rogers has raised $163,500 and has $1.4 million cash on hand.

So what do their fundraising totals tell us for the upcoming election season?

We turn to Republican Representative Kerry Bentivolio, freshman in the seat that was once held by former Congressmsan Thaddeus McCotter.  McCotter resigned from Congress last summer after a scandal.

Bentivolio, only raised some $70,000 dollars and one of his committees is showing debts of more than $200,000 dollars.

This led a fellow Republican, Paul Welday, a former Chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party   to post on his Facebook page, "Like it or not, a reality and necessity in politics is fundraising… It's a measure of support and indication of strength… This should be a huge "Red Flag" across the 11th District of Michigan and a very real concern for GOP leaders everywhere."

Today we  break some of these numbers down with Todd Spangler,  D.C.-based reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

We'll hear whether or not  if it is too early to tell if the 11th District seat be in danger for the Republican Party come 2014.

We also pivot to the big news coming out of the Capitol. That would be the Senate’s rejection of a bipartisan plan to expand background checks for gun purchases.

It failed by a vote of 54-46 with only four Republicans supporting it, and five Democrats opposing it.

Michigan’s two Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow both supported the measures.  Many supporters of the legislation are blaming the NRA, in large part, for the defeat.

Many political watchers are saying a lot of these votes, the votes in opposition came from the fact that folks are worried about being challenged in primaries.

Today Todd Spangler tells us about how things work  or don’t work right now in DC, when polls show some 90 percent of Americans in favor of expanded background checks and yet,  still gets voted down in the U.S. Senate.

Listen to the full interview above.

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